Croatian Basketball Player Mateo Dreznjak Named Rising Star of EuroBasket Qualifiers

Daniela Rogulj

February 29, 2020 – The umbrella organization has recognized the energetic Mateo Dreznjak as a promising young player in European basketball.

Probably the best player of HKK Široki, young Mateo Dreznjak has attracted the attention of the wider sports public thanks to his excellent appearances in Croatia’s first two Eurobasket 2021 qualifying matches against Sweden and the Netherlands, HRT reports.

His performances have certainly not been missed by FIBA, who named him one of the top 10 upcoming Eurobasket stars.

The young shooting guard was truthfully mistaken for his birth date (he was born on March 8, 1999), but was listed as Croatia’s best scorer in the first qualifying block, despite being the youngest on the roster.

“Despite being the youngest on the roster, Dreznjak stepped up for Croatia as their leading scorer through the first window in which they came through unbeaten. The 20-year-old opened with 16 points on 88 percent shooting to go with 4 steals and 3 assists in a win over Sweden before hitting double figures again in helping his side beat the Netherlands,” said official media partner of the Euroleague,

While Dreznjak is one of the highlights for Croatia and the future of Croatian basketball, FIBA also recognized Denny Avdi (one of the candidates for the first draft pick this year), Christian Kullamae, Arturs Žagars, Rokas Jokubaitis, Vit Krejci, Carlos Alocen, Rati Andronikashvili, Melwin Pantzar (a young Swede who played against Croatia in the first round) and Keye Van der Vuurst de Vries.

The Croatia basketball team beat the Netherlands away 69:59 in the second round of EuroBasket qualifications and defeated Sweden 72:56 (18: 6, 23:14, 17:25, 14:11) in the first round of the Group D qualifiers. Turkey and Sweden are also in Group D.

With these victories, Croatia has made a big step towards qualifying for the EuroBasket. 

EuroBasket 2021 will be held in Georgia, the Czech Republic, Italy, and Germany. The three first-place teams will qualify for the EuroBasket.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page


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